Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Once in a Blue Moon

The Marcels - Blue Moon
Dal Cd : " Best Hits Of 50's & 60's "
August 12 and August 31, 2012  have full moons.  The 2nd full moon is called a "Blue Moon".  The next Blue Moon will be July 2015.
Don't you just love it when there's a really cool old song to go with a story topic?  And really - you know I was around the first time this song was popular because I said "cool". 
I've been watching a "cool" little facebook page called "Tropical Update" and it's covering Issac as it turns into a category 1 hurricane.  Someone - somewhere - started this page and it allows others to post photos and comments as the storm arrives.  Since you've already surmised I'm a weather junky, it's no wonder I've liked this page.  It's fascinating and a little creepy all in one. 
Since the wind and rain from this weather system won't get to our area until Saturday, today was perfect for yard work.  Things have looked so less than ideal I've had a real lack of ambition.  I was able to trim, clean, wash and tidy up most of the back yard.  Not a bad bit of work.  I'm holding on to the hope it will last until the first frost.  I know - I know but I can dream. 
NASA says the moon Friday night is likely to be more red than blue due to the many fires over the US. At any rate, step outside August 31, face east at sunset and you can sing along with me:
"Bom ba ba bom ba bom ba bom bom
bom ba ba bom ba bom ba bom bom
Dang dang dang
Ding dong ding

Blue moon, moon, moon, moon, moon
Di, Di, Di, Di, Di, moon, moon, moon, blue moon
Di, Di, Di, Di,Di

Blue Moon, you saw me standing alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own

Blue Moon, you knew just what I was there for
You heard me saying a prayer for
Someone I really could care for do wah wah wah

And then there suddenly appeared before me
The only one my arms will ever hold
I heard somebody whisper, "Please adore me"
And when I looked, the moon had turned to gold


Blue Moon, now I'm no longer alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own"

And if you can sing all the bom and ding and dangs just right - you're my kind of 50's cool!  There is a whole passel of folks who do the un bom, ding, dang version - beautiful but tonight I need the Marcells. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Saving Soup

In the world of Food Network mega chefs, the word "leftovers" is shunned like a farmer's boots after he's fed the hogs.

Gourmet recipes call for minute quantities which means you have all these little bits of ingredients in the frig and then throw them away because what's the chances of making the same recipe before they go bad? 

I don't know about you but I can't make a small batch of soup.  By the time I get every ingredient into the soup I want, it's grown into a restaurant sized pot full.  Since it's just my husband and I most week nights, and we only can eat the same soup a few meals in a row, we have mega leftovers. 

This also works if you have a family that refuses to eat leftovers.

Every time you make that HUGE batch of soup, take out 2-4 cups (or more) and let cool while your eating.

Put into your blender or food processor and puree until smooth.  Put in a zip lock baggie, identify, date and into the freezer.  Quick and easy. 

I call this "soup starter".  It's the perfect ingredient for any soup that needs a thick, flavorful and nutritious base.

Think about these few options:

  • Squash soup into a new batch of chili.  This thickens and adds an extra layer of flavor. 
  • Chili into vegetable soup.  This adds more depth to the broth.
  • French onion soup into potato soup.  The glazed onions sweetens the cream sauce.

No more throwing away leftover soup after two weeks sitting in frig.  Preserve leftovers in the beginning when it's fresh and flavorful.  Not even the most picky eater will realize there's a leftover soup base in the new soup.

It's also a benefit to a working family because it can speed along a simple soup into one that has the flavor of having numerous ingredients and been slow cooking .    

Some left over soup bases can be used in spaghetti and casseroles sauces.  You might want to make a note if a sauce has hot peppers or spices, heavy on the garlic, is very sweet or another unusual flavor.  It will keep the addition from getting a comment like, "What were you thinking?"

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Waste Not - Want Not

Some interesting and related stories off the net: 
Americans are throwing out nearly every other bite of food, wasting up to 40% of the country’s supply each year - a mass of uneaten provisions worth $165 billion, according to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

An average family of four squanders $2,275 in food each year, or 20 pounds per person per month, according to the nonprofit and nonpartisan environmental advocacy group.

But American consumers are used to seeing pyramids of fresh produce in their local markets and grocery stores, which results in $15 billion annually in unsold fruits and vegetables, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. In restaurants and home kitchens, massive portions often end up partly in the trash.

In its report, the council urges the government to set a target for food-waste reduction. Companies should look for alternatives in their supply chain, such as making so-called baby carrots out of carrots too bent to be sold whole at the retail level.

The study also asks Americans to learn when food goes bad and to become less averse to buying scarred or otherwise imperfect produce. The average consumer should also save and eat leftovers, researchers said.

More than enough food is wasted each year than is needed to feed all of our nation's hungry.


Nearly 500 tons of donated hay will be delivered to seven fire-affected families and business in the Jordan Valley and Frenchglen communities in Oregon. There are reports that a typical yard mowing will create 75 pounds of clippings - 500 tons is equivalent to the clippings from 13,334 mowed laws. Or in other terms, the donated hay will provide 50,000 meals-ready-to-eat for livestock impacted by wildfire.

 17 large semi-trucks have been donated to haul this emergency hay. The current market rate for hauling hay is $30 per ton, and with each truck hauling at least 30 ton, the per truck donation amounts to $900. Donations from the trucking community for this one day effort will exceed $15,000, 204 hours of service, and cover 5150 miles. 

Food insecurity is not knowing if you will have enough food to eat, where it will come from and regularly not having meals.

 www.feedingamerican.org says 1 in 6 people in the United States goes hungry.   
  • Although related, food insecurity and poverty are not the same. Unemployment rather than poverty is a stronger predictor of food insecurity. 
  • According to the USDA, over 16 million children lived in food insecure (low food security and very low food security) households in 2010. 
  • 14.7% of rural households are food insecure, an estimated 3 million households
  •  It is morally reprehensible that the people that built this country should suffer hunger in a land of plenty, which they helped to create.  In 2010, 7.9 percent of households with seniors (2.3 million households) were food insecure.
  • One of the most common misconceptions is the assumption that if someone is hungry, that means they do not have a job and are living on the streets. What most people don’t understand is that anyone can experience hunger. It is a silent epidemic that affects 49 million Americans.
  • Lack of access to a nutritious and adequate food supply has implications not only for the development of physical and mental disease, but also behaviors and social skills.

Sportsmen Against Hunger (google by state Dept. of Natural Resources):
Hunters are encouraged to donate their entire deer harvest to food banks and charities. Participating meat processors will grind the venison into two-pound packages of burger.  For more information call 217-785-5091, write - Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271.
www.illinoisfoodbanks.org  has a listing of all food banks, homeless shelters and soup kitchens.  Most take donations of fresh garden produce (must be in healthy, good condition and clean).  Call first to see if they accept (usually means if they have a place to store) and the quantity they can take (you don't want them to have to deal with too much and rotting produce.)
Food pantries always take cash donations because they can purchase groceries in bulk cheaper than you can purchase at retail outlets.
http://youtu.be/C0fg1a8y4os Jewell talks about her own hunger and homelessness as a child and sings about an effort to feed children.
Shelters, food banks, and soup kitchens are in desparate need of volunteers.  Organize your garden club, church group, Scouts, soriety/fraternity, sports team, school club, or your family to participate in a volunteer effort.  Every non profit in this country need volunteers - add your set of hands to the task. 


Friday, August 24, 2012

Do I Hear Eighteen?

Aubrey Adelaine

A few weeks ago, I wrote about our new granddaughter, today I'm giving the billing to our next new granddaughter, Aubrey Adelaine.  As my southern husband would say, "We are breakin' out in granddaughters!"
For all you young parents, I know it's tough in so many ways.  For grandparents, it can be tough in different ways.  Perhaps we don't get to see them enough and we can't really do or say anything much to change the direction of an illness or a teen driver.  I'm certain it's why you see more grandparent age people in churches; you get to the point where you realize it takes something bigger than us humans to handle the worry grandparents have for our families.
And moving out of that "Maudlin" frame of mind and back into gardening.  Do you tend to worry about your yard?  If you're a worrier in general, I'm betting some of you worry about the plants and weather.
And to tie this in to the whole church/praying thing, I just read an interesting article the other day about Christians who worry.  It concluded the worst sin about a Christian's worrying is it encourages others to surmise we don't have a strong enough faith in the power of God.  
Having faith doesn't mean you sit on your badoofuss and wait for God to reach down and magically cure, heal, and change.  We do what we can, pray and then have faith the situation will be handled by the big guy.  Being human, even Christians tend to pray up a storm, reach up and hand the problem over to God but at the last minute we snatch it back so we can stew over it a little bit more.
If you're a regular to facebook, you see this all the time.  People calling out for prayer and then post daily how they are still worrying.  They continue to struggle with faith that God will do what's best.  
And now diving back into gardening (have you seriously got a headache from bouncing back and forth?):  Gardeners in many parts of the country are certainly tested this year with the drought.  Other areas of the world have their own set of challenges.  I've never advocated sitting on the rock in the middle of the field and waiting for Christ to dump down his blessings in the form of no bugs, perfect weather and abundant crops.  But, this year we need a serious reminder.  When you have done what you can under the circumstances, it's time to actually let it go to your faith side.
If you don't have a faith side, then I'm not sure this article can do much to help you.  Unless you want to take the big step to investigate the serenity you can have from this kind of faith.  Yep, it serves me well.                     

Thursday, August 23, 2012

What's the Deal?

Are we having a break from summer?  Is this Indian summer?  Did we move into fall in the blink of a week?  Is this the ramification of El Nino or La Nina?  Should we just relax and enjoy the perfect days, cool nights and go with the flow?


I’ve been stumped by what appears to be an early fall until I remembered we had an early spring.  I fret because things are looking bad until I realize some of it is simply the pattern of nature. 

Granted the drought has a major impact on how our yards are behaving.  It’s hard to tell when those scorched and dried leaves from my hosta plants have moved into the dried leaves of a normal fall pattern. 

In typical years, this is about the time hosta, daylilies, and many other summer flowering perennials can use a gentle haircut.  It makes them neat and pushes them into a late summer burst of new leaves.  It is done to make the garden beds look good.  This year, I’m less eager to deprive any plant of its ability to take on energy from the sun. 

Where most years trimming out dead or damaged hosta leaves is a small task, this year it would remove almost the entire foliage.  Trimming daylily plants down to about eight inches typically brings on a flush of fall leaves, this year it will not make the plant look better because so much of it has already turned brown and is laying flat on the soil. 

If you do fall garden clean up:

·         Error on the light side.

·         Remove vegetable garden waste to keep weeds and disease at a minimum. 

·         Cut down spent flower stalks if they don’t contain wintering bird seed heads. 

·         Shape up the bushes you normally keep trimmed.

·         Remove weeds.


The cautionary process:

·         Don’t yank out any more dead/flat/brown daylily leaves.  Leave them to shelter the roots this winter.  The flip side is rodents are as starved for water as your plants and may take to nesting/eating under garden mulch.  

·         It’s a good assumption most perennials are going into winter stressed.  Anything you can do to temper roots from winter cold/wind might help. 

·         Mulch perennials, trees and shrubs up to 4 inches; keep away from the trunk.

·         Leave the lawn grass longer over winter than normal.

·         Water weekly until the ground freezes hard as long as you have the time, money and water available.

·         Make wind breaks for shrubs and small decorative trees that normally have winter kill.  This would be Japanese Maples, holly, and some evergreens.  Basically, winter wind sucks the moisture out of these plants.  Not a good year for that to happen.


Some observations:

·         It appears many insecticides and herbicides didn’t work in the drought conditions.  The drought may reduce the number of insects overwintering in the ground; we can only hope. 

·         You’ve probably noticed what many consider weeds are doing just fine with the drought.  Think of the blue flowers along the roadsides (comfrey) and the white Queen Anne’s lace.


There’s a point where every gardener experiencing drought conditions must resign themselves to accepting what has been thrown at us, do the best you can and move on to next year with the gardener’s eternal hope:  next year will be better.
I took a bunch of photos of examples of dying plants and then I thought, "who would want to see someone else's dying plant?"  So I opted for pretty face pictures of Nasturtiums.  I always think some movie producer is missing the boat by not casting these beauties in a SciFi!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

aaaaaa choooooo!

aaaaaa choooooooo!

Oh yes!  Beautiful late summer/early fall day - open the windows - work in the garden - and sneeze and mop up that runny nose!  And so, I check out the pollen index for our area and wowzer and a half!  The index only goes up to a maximum of 12 for heaven's sake.
It's been a tough sinus year for those of us who suffer along with allergies.  Right now it's Ragweed, Nettle and Chenopods in our neck of the woods.  

Pollen Index for Galva, IL

Today's pollen and allergy information.
August 21, 2012
August 22, 2012
August 23, 2012
August 24, 2012
84° | 63°
91° | 66°
Partly Cloudy
86° | 64°
Partly Cloudy
90° | 66°

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thank You Very Much

Who's watching the PBS specials about Elvis Presley?   You may not realize this but I've lowered my voice to type this.

Thirty five years ago August 16 Elvis passed leaving a legacy of fun, beautiful and often tender music.  Most of us can agree we love at least some of his songs.  My generation loves all the songs, the era, and the King!

To loosely tie this to gardening, Elvis' favorite flower was the Jasmine.  And - OK we're moving on. . . . .

For all you serious fans, here's an Elvis recipe:

Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich
3 tablespoons peanut butter
2 slices white bread
1 banana, mashed
2 tablespoons margarine, melted

Mix soft peanut butter and mashed banana together.
Toast bread lightly.
Spread peanut butter and mashed banana on toast.
Place into melted margarine; brown on both sides.

Thank you - thank you very much!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Refining the Weed

I bought this beautiful plant for my pots only to get home and find it's the same family as one of my least favorite weeds:  purslane.

I have fought purslane for years especially in the brick walks.  It's a tricky little plant with many a built in survival mechanism.  It is easily killed with a herbicide like "Round Up" but sometimes I don't get to it or it's located too close to perennials. 

When pulled, it snaps off at ground level, leaving the roots to simple produce another plant.  If it gets to the flowering stage, it becomes really tricky.  As it's being pulled, it shoots out thousands of tiny seeds and soon another multitude of plants emerge.

Skip to the beautiful plant I brought home:

It's called "Rio Yellow" Purslane or Portulaca oleracea.  It's a member of the Ross Moss family.   Congratulations to the Ball Horticultural Company for incorporating the best of the weed and introducing a sturdy beautiful plant. 

The other Rio varieties:  Apricot, orange, rose, scarlet, and white.  An annual hardy to 32 degrees.

This succulent is super-low drought tolerant and thrives through summer heat.  Requires a low amount of watering and wants very well drained soil.  Perfect plant this year.  Keep on the dry side in the fall to continue the blooming.

It may be used as a ground cover although I planted in pots.  Gets 4-8 inches tall and spreads 12-15 inches. 

It requires 6 or more hours of sun each day and will bloom the best in full sun.

The info says it blooms spring through summer.  Mine has still not stopped blooming.  AND it attracts hummingbirds and various butterflies. 

My neighbor, Marie, told me Purslane (verdolaga in Spanish) is consider an ingredient in salads in Mexico.  The Rio series is no different.  It is said to resemble watercress in consistency and taste when the leaves are eaten young.  The leaves are rich in iron.  Older leaves can be cooked with other leafy vegetables like spinach. It is commonly found in Italian, Greek, Central American and Middle Eastern cuisines.

The flowers benefit from pinching back after blooming.  The flowers curl up at night, on cloudy days or when the plant is stressed.

There are two other new purslanes:  Fairytail has double flowers and Duet is by-colored.  The hybrid purslane's are a much fuller plant the Moss Rose and usually have more flowers.   

Dr. Gary Bachman, Mississippi State University Horticulture expert say, "Many flowering plants we use in our landscapes are really only one or two steps out of the ditch." Purslane is surely at the top of that list. 


Thursday, August 9, 2012

When Texas Meets North Dakota

What do you get when Texas meets North Dakota?  Sounds like a second grader’s joke of the day.  It’s not.  There’s this cool little web site called “The Wind Map”.  http://hint.fm/wind/

It’s an animated map of the continental United States showing how the wind is blowing each day. 

Today there’s a prediction for heavy to severe storms, and a casual comment from my husband wondering if it would split and go north and south of us, prompted me to check out the map.

There’s a strong North Dakota wind dropping down East of Colorado and a swift southern wind coming from Texas and moving north.  The line where they are converging is swirling and this is where radar is showing a line of thunderstorms.   Oh yes, I do so love weather and I’d love it more if it contained some rain this summer.  But, I digress.

I know in the whole scheme of things, weather watching can be a bit unimportant.  But folks, I was born in the Midwest – on a farm – it’s what we do!  We watch the weather, we talk about the weather and if you don’t launch into a “Soooo, think it’ll rain?” you’re immediately categorized as an outsider.

Weather watching and talking was born of necessity for farm families.  Ideal conditions and farmers can make the payments.  Less than ideal and they’re borrowing on next year.  Extreme conditions and it may mean losing the farming operation.  I know I’m preaching to the experts on that one, but, I’ve found (even in the Midwest) the vast majority of residents don’t understand where and how their food is grown.

Our farmer ancestors had a lot of folklore for when to plant and harvest.  This is folklore based on the experience of generation upon generation.  They didn’t have the high tech in-cab devices to tell them what part of the field is ready to pick.  They didn’t have pesticides and few options for fertilizers except manure and rotation of crops. 

Most based a goodly part of their farming practices on Biblical direction.  Some still leave a certain portion of their crops for others – either in the fields, through mission donations, or donations to food banks.  It not only was stewardship, it was proof positive that the hand that gives will receive back tenfold. 

If you don’t think farmers still depend, or at least glance, at the old practices, check to see how many Farmer’s Almanacs are sold each year.  What is farming today:  high tech, innovative, grounded in family and enhancing their corner of the world.  It is also history, ancestors, folklore, and weather watching.

We casual gardeners are the cousins of the farming community.  We may not make as big an impact upon the world as farmers, but we can make an impact upon our family and community.  Gardeners can and should make the decisions to hand down our piece of the earth in better shape than when we started digging.

As I’m typing this, I’m watching the 85 degree morning, the wind direction, radar showing a storm over Iowa and wondering:  “Soooo do you think it’ll rain?”

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Brain Game

Isn't this the greatest funky looking brain plant you've ever seen?

It's celosia, better known as cockscomb.  It's an annual in Zone 5.  In many warm and tropic areas, it grows wild and is considered food.   Up here it's a rather inexpensive hoot and a half.  I don't think I've walked by it once that it hasn't brought a smile to my face.

I bought it on a whim (I was probably smiling at the time) and I have no idea of the particular name or even where it came from.  It has nice chartreuse leaves and has done well by itself in a pot. 

There are three types of cockscomb:  c. plumosa and c. crestada .  Plumes are upright feather looking and crests are wrinkled brain looking (as I've pictured).  C. specata is the narrow spiked version that has the form of wheat and may be used as a small shrub. 

I bought several types of cockscomb this year, most a color mixture of the upright type.  They've done alright and to be fair, they don't really like dry conditions.  We in the Midwest are loosing our battle to keep most annuals in pots thriving.  As my friend Pat said, "They just don't do as well watering as they do when it rains on them." 

Cockscomb is an old garden plant and can be a wild and crazy addition.  The Victorians were mad for them.  They do edges well, make accents, and if you have loads, they can be picked for the vase.  They make an excellent dried flower.  Some can add height to a pot at up to four foot tall, while others can stand alone.  (Tall ones may need staking if you have wind.)

Celosia needs full sun, do not cramp the roots, rich well drained moist soil, high humidity, and fertilize once a month with a complete fertilizer (30-10-20 is good).  If you want the plume variety to branch, pinch the tops about three weeks after planting. 

Given the right place, you could move your pots of cockscomb inside for the winter. 
Celosia is a tough plant and will seldom be bothered by storms and rain (if only we had some) and few pests or diseases.  Amazingly, they are very soft to touch; almost like velvet.  They belong to the amaranth family.  There are about 60 species.    

You can grow from seed or buy plant sets.  Buy healthy cockscomb at a nursery, if possible.  They will take right off and do well without a long nurse back to health period neglected plants will need.
It pairs well with foliage plants such as sweet potato vine.  Next time you want something bright and beautiful, try some brain power. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Rose Mallow

Hibiscus "Luna"
I don't know why, but I seem to need to say the plant "hibiscus" in my Julia Child voice.  OK, that's weird but still it's a true confession.

I've had a little hibiscus bush for years tucked in a corner on the south of the house.  It desperately needs moved to let it spread and have more light.  On the other hand, it is protected from wind and crazy northern weather. 

I totally lost my mind at one of my favorite garden stores, Monticello Indiana Garden Station.  There beckoning me was this beautiful 3 foot blooming hibiscus "Turn of the Century". 

Totally loosing my mind because it's the wrong time of the year to plant them, we are in the middle of a severe drought and, seriously, did I need another bush in my yard?

Hibiscus are sensitive to our northern climate and have typically been a tropical plant.  One look at the huge flowers and it transports you to an island vacation.  The flowers are bright, big and showy.

Hibiscus is from the mallow family and are available in annual, perennial, shrub and trees.  The hardy hibiscus is also called rose mallow and swamp mallow.  The flowers open for one day and a chance to see them unfurl in the morning is pretty close to watching a miracle.

Flowers are in colors and shades of red, white, yellow, peach/orange, and purple.  I caution you to read the label carefully and shop reputable garden centers before buying for a Zone 5 garden.  Typically, they aren't cheap and there are some pretty crazy claims in catalog hibiscus.  Buying one may give you a very expensive annual.  The "hardy hibiscus" and "dinner-plate hibiscus" are names of Hibiscus moscheutos (the one you must have for them to survive in cold climates.)  

Never fear, come spring you will find your plant has totally died down to the ground (herbaceous perennial) and will be very late sending up new sprouts.  Don't panic and don't accidentally dig it up.  (Most should be marked so you don't disturb or accidentally remove.)  They bloom late July into August.

Hibiscus need well drained moist soil; rich in nutrients or enhanced with manure and compost.  They do well planted in areas where it stays moist such as beside water, low areas and where you will remember to water come dry periods.  They benefit from substantial mulching. 

Hibiscus "Turn of the Century"
I typically dig the hole for a new plant a bit deep.  The top of the soil is even to where it is in the pot but the entire plant base is below the ground around.  I then make a rim around the hole with more soil so water does not run off yet it is not standing in water nor planted too deep.  This makes establishing the plant easier.  Again, read your label:  Some like full sun while others prefer some afternoon shade. 

Many nations, where this plant is native, have quite varied uses:  paper, tea from the flowers, candied, as a vegetable, and as a natural die.

The hibiscus flower is often a topic for Asian paintings, weavers, personal adornment and decor.   It has been used for medical purposes in China, by herbalist and the American native Indians.

Butterflies and hummingbirds LOVE hibiscus and some moths use them as food.  The hibiscus sawfly can be controlled by an application of insecticide each early summer and fall.  They are deer resistant.  A big downside is they are a very favorite for Japanese beetles - as are all mallow plants.  Either spray with insecticide or religiously pick them off every morning - otherwise you'll have no flowers.

Hibiscus"Luna" at the Ball Horticulture Display
The only other piece of information you should tuck into your bonnet:  In some countries, putting a red hibiscus flower behind your ear means you're available for marriage.  Could be awkward.            

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Did you ever have one of those "I'm so sick of hot, dry, and everything in my yard is dying kind of day" that the way-back machine conjures up an oldie but goodies? 

Seriously, don't we all have those "I've used fourteen different kinds of deodorant and I'm still sweating" kind of day?  Or, "If I don't move, the sheets won't stick to my legs when I roll over and tangle me in a mummy wrap"? 

Are you spending time thinking a good blizzard (snow not DQ) would be just fine?  Do you feel guilty complaining about the heat when you know  some folks have it worse this year - and you still complain about the heat?  I call it multitasking complaints. 

So back to the oldie but goodies:  Back in my early adult life, we were none too sophisticated but pretended by making this summer drink.  We sophisticatedly called it SLUSHY.  Every woman I knew had a Tupperware container in her freezer waiting for company.  It was cheap, easy, always ready and the best part - we thought we were entertaining in style.  And by gosh, it worked.  It often does when we're all in the same, just married, not much extra money and let's have fun boat.  I've no idea who first invented this and there are several variations but it's still a nice little hot weather drink.  Drag out your Tupperware and get sophisticated! 

  • 12 ounces lemonade frozen concentrate

  • 6 ounces orange juice frozen concentrate

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 2 cups hot strong tea

  • 2 cups bourbon or rum or vodka or whatever you have on hand (don't do expensive) 

  • 7 cups water

  • Ginger ale or lemon-lime soda to taste

    In a lidded, freezer-proof container or two (Tupperware and Rubbermaid pitchers work well), mix all ingredients except ginger ale until thoroughly blended. 

Place the container(s) in the freezer overnight or for at least 4-6 hours. It should be firm all the way through, but it will not freeze completely solid because of the alcohol.  Scoop about 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of the slush into a tumbler, top with ginger ale or lemon-lime soda to taste and serve.  The ratio is a matter of how you like your drink.  
Take my word for it, this has the color of something gone wrong.  It has to be good or nobody would make it more than once just because of the tan color. 

To bring a little more class to the whole Tupperware experience, serve in pretty wine glasses or ice cream float glasses.  People that want to over impress will add fruit on the rim of the glass but then it looks like you're pretentious and we couldn't have that.     

 Invite over a few friends, turn up the AC or sit out on the screened in porch late at night, scoop up some Slushy and let the worries of this nasty summer slip by for the evening.   

 Warning for people with kids:  You might want to buy a locking Tupperware container so no accidental "Oh look mom made Popsicles for us" incidents happens.

And yes, the tree at the top is dead and who posts pictures of dead trees - oh yeah "me".